Four killed in gunfight over water distribution in Punjab

During the scuffle, more than 30 rounds were fired by both groups and the injured were admitted to the Civil Hospital of Batala and later referred to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar.
Image used for representation only.
Image used for representation only.File photo

CHANDIGARH: Four persons were killed and eight injured in a violent altercation between two groups over the distribution of irrigation water to their farmlands at Sri Hargobindpur in the Batala police district of Gurdaspur, Punjab.

More than 30 rounds of gunfire were exchanged, and sharp-edged weapons were used during the confrontation.

Sources reported a longstanding personal enmity between the groups of Angrej Singh and Tarsem Singh, which escalated into a major fight and culminated in a shootout late Sunday evening.

The sarpanch of Vithwan village, Angrej Singh, along with his brother Baljit Singh, nephew Shamsher Singh, and others, clashed with another group from Vithwan, Gopalpur, and Moorh villages at the Lightawala Chowk roundabout in Sri Hargobindpur.

During the scuffle, more than 30 rounds were fired by both groups. A car was also riddled with bullets.

Angrej Singh was injured, while his brother Baljit Singh and nephew Shamsher Singh were killed. Nirmal Singh of Moorh village and Balraj Singh of Gopalpur from the other group were also killed. Two members of Angrej Singh's group and six from the other group, led by Major Singh of Vithwan village, were injured.

The injured were admitted to the Civil Hospital of Batala and later referred to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar.

Senior Superintendent of Police of Batala, Ashwini Gotyal, said, “A previous dispute and tussle was going on between these two groups of Vithwan village over the distribution of water from an irrigation department water channel (khala) to their farmlands. This escalated, leading to an armed scuffle at Lightawala Chowk in Sri Hargobindpur. This clash occurred as a member of one family provoked the other. Some 30 rounds were fired. Four people have been killed and eight injured; the condition of some of the injured persons is out of danger.”

“The police patrolling team was nearby when the incident took place and rushed to the spot within two minutes after receiving the information. The station house officer (SHO) was patrolling and reached the site, but his vehicle was also fired upon, and one bullet hit his vehicle,” added Gotyal.

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